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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  March 8, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm EST

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really does understand this, and i'm hoping that it is not a political ploy. but the bottom line is, we hear so many people talking about american exceptionalism. this is not america at its best. >> all right. listen, a fine rant, michelle. thank you so much. that will do it for us. i am dylan ratigan. "hardball" right here on msnbc with chris matthews starts right now. right-wing pirany test. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews. in washington, leading off tonight, republicans' race to the right. for the five potential republican presidential challengers who met last night in iowa, it was a test to see who could go furthest right, who could make the best appeal to the social conservative base of the party. in the first real candidate forum for 2012, believe it or
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not, instead of talking about the economy, these fellas talked about god, gays and abortion. is this the fight the party really wants to use to beat president obama next year? that's our top story tonight. then we jump into the political battle raging in wisconsin two polls now show the governor out there, walker, his negative poll numbers are spiking upward and voters want a compromise from the guy. can the democrats use this attack by him on unions to rally their base? plus, congressman peter king has released a witness list for thursday's congressional hearings on what he calls the radicalization of american muslims. 28 house members have signed a letter opposing the holding of the hearings. we're going to hear from two members of congress about the issue. and president obama has limited options, everybody knows, in libya. as former united states ambassador bill richardson, what the president should do. he'll be here at the table. finally, the retirement in nevada may open up the seat for sharron angle. that's in the side show if you
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want to be scared again. we begin with the race to the right by the republican candidates for president. howard fineman is an msnbc political analyst and john marshall is with "talking points memo." gentlemen, let's take a look at some scenes from last night. this is the first forum of the season. here's the gop talking social instead of economic. here's santorum, newt gingrich and tim pawlenty talking about god last night in an effort to win, i guess, that vote. let's listen. >> once you stick your head out on the social issues, once you fight for the moral fabric of our country, you're labeled. you're labeled. >> because it means the power comes from god to each one of you personally. you are personally sovereign, you loan power to the government, the government does not loan power to you, and that is the fundamental division between most americans and the secular socialist people around obama. >> we need to be a country that turns toward god, not a country
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that turns away from god. >> well, howard, what is this, an audition for elmer ganttry? is this what's going on here? are they applying for a televangelist job? they're running for president of the united states, which last time i looked-no religious test for the office under the constitution. >> well, chris, they're running to try to win caucus votes in iowa. and if you know iowa as i do, on the republican side, in the republican caucuses, that's going to be 50%, 60% or more evangelical christians. >> what was the percentage? >> 50% or 60% of the people who show up at the caucus vote. >> show up. from the church-based party. >> from the megachurches, they come from all over. in iowa, the farmland prices are soaring, commodity prices are up. most of iowa is not destitute economically like michigan or parts of ohio or parts of pennsylvania. and especially because of that, plus the strength of evangelical churches in iowa, iowa more than
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new hampshire or even south carolina, nevada, florida, you name it, other early stops on the republican trail, iowa is going to be all about, on the republican side, the evangelical vote, which is why wisconsin -- >> does it have the same power as obama winning the democratic caucuses in iowa last time? does it have the power to propel you where the only thing that can stop you is a thumping, really, in new hampshire after that? >> possibly. possibly. i think it's a little bit different because i think on the republican side, the qualitative difference between what voters in iowa are interested in and what voters in new hampshire are interested in is greater than on the democratic side, you see what i'm saying, but similar in that on the democratic side last time in iowa, it was all about the antiwar movement. >> yes. >> it was all about iraq. obama as a candidate got the inside track on hillary, on the war, and he never -- >> because the war was an issue across the board. >> the issue in iowa. >> but is god -- i don't want to be disrespectful or blasphemous at all, but is the focus on religious issues -- let me go to josh marshall.
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do you believe the focus on the religious issue paramount for republicans in picking a candidate to run against obama? is culture trumping economy? would they rather have an evangelical fellow like pawlenty, working all the way to the right to a huckabee or further to someone else, or would they rather have chris christie win as a secular candidate on the jobs and taxes issue? >> i think, you know, what you really -- what the republicans really want, what the base of the party wants is not that different from what you saw, you know, in the 2010 election. even though that election seemed a lot about the economy and jobs, there was a backdraft about, you know, president obama being alien to us, that he's a socialist. there was a lot of kind of cultural backdraft to that. even though a lot of the discontent that they were working with was economic. so, i think part of the issue here is whether or not it's, you know, about god or religion, that the 2010 really set the
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republicans up for a primary battle, even a general election battle, that's hard on the base red meat issues. >> sounds like yes, these are the deciding issues. let's talk about picking your candidate. looking at iowa here, look at what they all talked about. they all focused on the issue of women's right to have an abortion, if you will, pro-choice issues, pro-right issues. here they are talking about abortion. all male candidates, by the way. let's listen. >> we have an opportunity in this election to frame a great moral cause. >> i'm a pro-life, traditional values man. >> we have to defend the life of the unborn. >> we have people in washington, d.c., who believe the unborn do not have a right to life. yes, they do. >> you had a great speaker last year in mike pence, and i want to say i strongly endorse his cutting out all funding for planned parenthood, which has become a major source of
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abortion in america. >> you know, howard, language is important. to say that planned parenthood is a source of abortion is pretty strong language. >> yeah. well, that's not the least of the strong language that even newt gingrich himself -- not even, especially newt was using, in terms of socialists, secular, this and that. the trick out of iowa, and more generally, on the republican side, is to somehow combine the moral force of their cultural critique with something in economics. you heard newt attempt to do that where he talked about individual rights and so forth, being god-given. mike huckabee, i talked to one of his top advisers -- said look, the person who's going to win this, this huckabee guy said, is the one who can somehow combine the two and make their economic message sound like a moral crusade. that's what they tried to do. >> there were so many dog whistles last night, and we know what that term means, some people hear them and some don't. last night in iowa, you heard newt, for example, talking about moving our embassy.
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this is an old issue in every presidential campaign on both sides, but it has particular meaning, doesn't it, to evangelical christians when he talks about moving the american embassy in israel to jerusalem. isn't that a dog whistle? isn't that a statement of very overt religiousity for the republican party? >> no, absolutely. and i think again, you have that, you have a lot of the stuff about israel, the middle east. there is a kind of a -- >> is this rapture talk? is this -- >> it's a cat chrism that is a dog whistle, and -- >> see, it's a different message to -- the democratic party would be concerned about the integrity of the state of israel and the right of israel to set its own capital where it would like to, but everybody knows this is a very -- what's the right word? i was going to say start a fire issue. i forget what the latin-day term for it is -- >> incendiary. >> incendiary issue in the middle east. it may not seem important to the people in iowa.
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we may move the capital to jerusalem and say all the talks are over the disposition of jerusalem, and you're just going to war with some people. but i know that everybody feels a certain way on these issues, but these signals to the evangelical right, it seems to me, are being sent pretty clearly out there starting last night. >> you know, i think that's right, and i think howard's point about iowa being somewhat unique in terms of republican politics going into 2012 is right. but again, i think that even though it's really aimed strongly ativan gelicals in iowa, this is really something that is going across the country. >> okay. >> and you see it with appeals to nullification in different states, in the 10th amendment, and a lot of this stuff are very radical right-wing politics that, again, i think they made this bed for themselves in some ways in the 2012 election. >> speaking of that, i wonder whether newt will sell out. i expect him to show up in sandals next time, as some kind of christian-era robe on, because he's becoming so christian in his politics. here he is talking about
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morality. i knew newt as a sort of go pack political hot shot in washington. very secular in his politics. here he is now retooling himself on the religious side. you're laughing because it may work. it may work with some people. they may say, i like the new newt. let's listen to newt gingrich and the new guise. >> morality applies across the board. we should all base our principles on fundamental questions of morality. >> you know, even the hand gestures, there's something very christian about that. it's like he's receiving information and he's giving it to us. it's something -- i'm holding my hand up, josh. it's something very christian era about this guy. >> i don't think josh is old enough to remember this, but -- >> i'm looking at my catechi catechism -- >> when newt came on the scene, it was a sensation, because here was a republican guy talking about science, talking about everything from brontosaurus to science fiction and it was all
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secular, i agree. now, it was humanistic, but it was secular, and he was fascinating in his ability to connect the dots and -- >> what about women couldn't fight in combat because men like hunt giraffes, all that crazy gunk? >> exactly. so, he's always been interesting to watch, but to watch him now, to be -- and also, he can, on the personal side -- >> christian he's become -- [ everyone talking at once ] let's talk to the politics of this. he is now selling himself as an iowa sort of born-again, very culturally conservative christian in a political sense. i've got to be careful -- >> but newt is one of the few people to have the ambition to try to come up with some theory, some unified field force theory to combine his new religiousity with the past. >> it reminds me of the old days. i shouldn't say this, but josh, remember how the guys would try to rob a bank in a zoot suit or something so strange, they would focus on the costume instead of the guy wearing it. >> i'm not saying that --
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>> zoot suit next time. >> there's a point of consistency, i think, with newt, and what's always -- >> this is a point, point of consistency. >> going back 30 years now, is that newt is always about the best defense is a good offense, and not just a good offense, a totally in-your-face, over-the-top offense. and you know, clearly, there's a religious conversion he's gone through, and i don't second guess that on a personal level, but i think there's also -- it's undeniable that he's going into this with not just one, but like, arguably two, even three sort of, you know, relationship scandals in his past. and so, this is a good footing, very much in the new tradition, to go in with. >> it's blindingly audacious. >> yes. >> anyway, thank you, howard fineman, and thank you, josh marshall. i like the way you said that. coming up, newt gingrich, a power to be dealt with. senate republicans in wisconsin say they no longer trust republican governor scott walker who refuses to compromise, they
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say, in that standoff over the rights of public employees to exist. can democrats use this battle over the right to collectively bargain to rally their base nationally? this is a big question for a lot of democrats who think the answer is a big yes. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. plus restoring rinse. it's the only listerine® that gets teeth two shades whiter and makes tooth enamel two times stronger. get dual-action listerine® whitening rinse. building whiter, stronger teeth. get dual-action listerine® whitening rinse. how are you getting to a happier place? running there? dancing there? how about eating soup to get there? campbell's soups fill you with good nutrition, farm-grown ingredients, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. i have clients say it's really hard to save for the future and they've come to a point where it's overwhelming. oh gee, i'm scared to tell you i've got this amount of credit card debt or i've got a 15-year-old and we never got around to saving for their college. that's when i go to work.
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we talk, we start planning. we can fix this. when clients walk out of my office they feel confident about their retirement. [ male announcer ] visit and put a confident retirement more within reach. pennsylvania, of course, wept heavy for republicans last year's election, but a recent poll shows the president leading three top potential challengers. he has a seven-point lead over romney. that's a good thing to have against romney in pennsylvania. against mike huckabee, ten-point lead, 34-24. sarah palin trails the president by a 28-point margin. no surprise there, although that's a hell of a gap. i'm very impressed he's in good shape there. next step, ohio, then on to wisconsin. they get tougher. we'll be right back.
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america is not broke, not by a long shot. the country is awash in wealth and cash. it's just that it's not in your hands! it has been transferred in the greatest heist in history from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber rich. >> wow, that's michael moore. welcome back. that's filmmaker michael moore. he knows how to talk, knows how to make a movie, this weekend showing his support for the union workers in wisconsin and the standoff between wisconsin governor scott walker, who's plunging in the polls, and state democrats out there over the issue of collective bargaining. and that fight goes on. how's the fight playing right now with both republicans and democrats across the country as well as back in the state, the dairy state?
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marty is with council 24 and john nichols is with "the nation" magazine here in washington. gentlemen, i want you to look at a poll which shows i think how the public is reacting to the governor's performance out there. the governor's unfavorable rating has shot up ten points in the last couple weeks because of his behavior. his unfavorable rating has risen 18 points since november. that is a hell of a spike from 35% unfacial up to 53%. marty bale, what do you make of this? what's caused this? 63%, or 65% of this, two-thirds say deal, they want him to deal with the workers, with your union. your thoughts? give me a couple minutes on this. what's this tell you about the fight as it stands right now? >> well, i think it's the wisconsin citizens and workers finally beginning to get their point across to this governor and to the citizens in general. i mean, what you see here every day in madison and throughout this state is that common, ordinary citizens and workers are saying this isn't
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wisconsin's tradition, this isn't part of wisconsin's fabric here. this is -- we're getting turned upside down. in three months, we have a 44-year-old politician that's turned wisconsin upside down. i think the citizens and the taxpayers and the voters have seen this and said this isn't our tradition, we don't want you to go down this path. unfortunately, scott walker is pretty head-strong, pretty arrogant about things, and he's not budging. but i'll tell you what, at the end of the day, the taxpayers, the citizens and the workers of this state will prevail. >> i always try to remind myself, john that most voters are not rich, are very poor. most voters are middle class largely defined. and it seemed to me there was a calculation on the part of the governor of wisconsin, based on last november's returns, the election returns, which are very good for the republicans, that he could build a battle of private sector middle class people against public sector middle class people, that he could make that to be the carving issue, right down
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between them, and have the middle class private sector people resent deeply the public service employees and join the governor in that fight. he made a miscalculation, i think. what do you think? >> i think he made a huge miscalculation. and frankly, during the campaign, when i spoke to scott -- and i talked to him several times about this -- he did seem to be setting up a class warfare, internal class warfare, if you will, between public sector and private sector workers. but the problem was that he went after their union rights, and that was the big mistake. suggesting that public employees were paid too much, that's an issue that he might have been able to sell, but when he went after their collective bargaining rights, that's the point where you actually saw something remarkable happen. within those polls, chris, if you look at the polls, you look at union households, be they private or public, there's a dramatic shift going on. the reagan democrats in the private sector are coming back
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to the democratic party. >> this country's a lot more centrist than people realize, going from both ends. let's look at the new ad from the progressive change campaign committee. let's listen. they argue in this ad on the progressive side that what's going on here is attempt by, well, corporate power, to go after the little guy. let's watch. >> this bill that walker's proposing is going to cost me over $3,000 a year, not to mention more down the road when we lose our collective bargaining rights. >> i've lobelieved that the isss here are not unique to wisconsin. these are national issues. monies being taken away from workers and the tax breaks given to major corporations. >> this is class warfare, an tack on the middle class. this is a battle we need to win. >> marty beil it looks like some of the concerns of the country, going for the achilles and
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they're losing. as the governor is apparently losing, it is interesting to go on the offense. you have jim demint of georgia, a pretty conservative guy, out there now saying let's go for a national right to work law. in other words, they say they're for states rights, but now they want to go beyond taft/hartley from the late '40s, which allowed each state to go to work, if they chose to, and southern states largely did, but now they want it to be a national policy, you don't have to join a union. what do you think of this move, is this a joke? >> again, i think it shows that republicans are out of touch with working men and women in the middle class, and i think what you see here in wisconsin and you're now seeing in ohio and indiana and other states across this country is only the first chapter in this. i am certain that if the republicans are successful in trying to move national right to work, you will see an outcry and demonstrations as if you've never seen them before, because people are getting it. you know, it's time for workers in the middle class to take their government back, and that's what we're all about.
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>> do we even know if it's constitutional, john, if jim demint of south carolina -- if it's even constitutional to tell companies they can't cut a contract which makes employees join unions, a state government, local government can't cut a contract that requires people to participate and pay dues, at least to a union, or at least pay some money to compensate for not paying dues? can they come in and regiment the country according to the purposes of jim demint? is that constitutional? >> well, let's hope not. let's hope not. in fact, the courts have dealt with this, and up to this point, there's been a great deal of protection for union rights, especially in non-right-to-work states. what jim demint is doing, though, i think is useful in the current debate, and i'll tell you why. he is putting the reality out there, the republican party, which historically, until very recently, tried to compete for at least some union votes, is essentially saying we're done with that. we are now the antiunion party.
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and if they want to communicate that message, you know, i'd welcome them to do so. >> therey lose a lot of reagan democrats when they do that. >> it's not working in wisconsin. >> marty beil, quickly, is your union more unified than ever? what's going on? >> our union and unions as a whole here in wisconsin are more unified than ever. i mean, the level of activity out there by my rank in file members in terms of protests around the state -- every little city, every little town, every little burg -- even john nichols' town of union grove, wisconsin wisconsin had a rally of some 200 people. unheard of in that part of the state. our members are involved in recall elections. in three days, over 2,000 volunteers are collecting signatures for recalls. it's incredible. >> marty, you included, you've got some sharp union leadership out there. i hope it catches on nationwide, that kind of sharp thinking. conceding on the co-pays, right
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off the bat, queen sacrifice like in chess. we say we don't want to do this, but this is the smart, strategic move. don't make the issue of co-pay because everybody who goes to work has to make a co-pay. make the issue rights to exist. smart, quick decision. it takes real leadership to make quick calls like that in the huddle or out of the huddle, automobiles. thank you. up next, a republican lawmaker wants to ban college kids from voting. guess why? they vote democrat. how inconvenient. let's ahead in "the side show." you're watching "hardball." tdd# 1-800-345-2550
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before i started taking abilify, i was taking an antidepressant alone. most days i could put on a brave face and muddle through. but other days i still struggled with my depression. i was managing, but it always had a way of creeping up on me. i felt stuck. i just couldn't shake my depression. so i talked to my doctor. he said adding abilify to my antidepressant could help with my depression, and that some people had symptom improvement as early as 1 to 2 weeks. he also told me about a free trial offer from abilify! now i feel more in control of my depression. [ male announcer ] abilify is not for everyone. call your doctor if your depression worsens or if you have unusual changes in behavior, or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens and young adults. elderly dementia patients taking abilify have an increased risk of death or stroke. call your doctor if you have high fever, stiff muscles and confusion to address a possible life-threatening condition. or if you have uncontrollable muscle movements, as these could become permanent. high blood sugar has been reported with abilify and medicines like it.
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kenya with a kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the mau mau revolution in kenya is very different than ours, because he probably grew up hearing that the british were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather." >> now, in case you missed it, he said obama grew up in kenya with his kenyan father, kenya, kenya, kenya. my feelings about this, folks, i've got to say, are complicated. first off, obama didn't grow up in kenya. he was born in kenya before moving to islamistan where he then traveled back in time to plant his birth announcement in a hawaiian newspaper. >> point well made. next, cushing the youth vote. new hampshire's house speaker william o'bryant is trying to keep college kids from voting. why? you've got to hear it to believe it. here's o'bryant at a tea party event in january. >> they'll have 900 same-day
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registrations, which are the kids coming out of school and basically doing what i did when i was a kid in school, voting as a liberal. that's what kids do. they don't have life experience and they just vote their feelings. and they're taking away the town's ability to govern themselves, and it's not fair. >> well, he doesn't want all those kids voting up at dartmouth because they tend to vote democrat. the state republican party is pushing through two bills now, one that would allow students to vote only if their parents had established residence in the college town itself and another that would end same-day registrations. finally, second amendment sharon. state republicans breathed a sigh of relief when senator john enzinn announced his retirement. sharon engle may run for congress or senate. her adviser said her tea party following and fund-raising ability could win whichever office she chooses to run for.
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if this doesn't concern you, by the way, ladies and gentlemen and out there, i don't know what would. sharron angle, the one who said they ought to be able aibl to use second amendment remedies if they don't like a politician. coming up, congressman peter king's meeting on the radicalization of americans. we'll hear from two members of congress trying to stop those hearings from being held. you're watching "hardball." and . kraft singles. more kids get their calcium from us than any other american cheese. kraft singles. the american cheese. [ technician ] are you busy? management just sent over these new technical manuals. they need you to translate them into portuguese. by tomorrow. [ male announcer ] ducati knows it's better for xerox to manage their global publications.
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stay on the line! whatever your destination, fidelity will help you get there. because when it comes to investing, you should never settle. fidelity investments. i'm simon hobbs with your "cnbc market wrap." stocks bouncing back from monday's losses with a conventioning rally today. the dow jones industrial average soaring 124 points, the s&p 500 up 11 and the nasdaq climbing 20. financials and transportation stocks the leading gainers today on easing oil prices and a strong outlook from bank of america. the bank is forecasting higher
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profits through cost-cutting, hopefully offsetting ongoing losses in mortgages. it also says that it will stop paying, it hopes, a dividend next year. crude fell below $105 a barrel. opec says it's considering adopting a policy raising outlook to help make up for libya's shutdown. boeing shares climbed on closing a deal with two chinese airlines for 2,000 planes over the next five years. netflix sinking nearly 6% on news facebook is dabbling in streaming movies on its website for a modest fee. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." oh, we've got trouble. two days from now, the house homeland security committee is going to hold a hearing.
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its title -- "the extent of radicalization in the american muslim community and that community's response." but the title belies the passion around these hearings. opponents say the hearings will single out and stigmatize one group, american muslims. joining me are two people opposed to holding the hearings, u.s. congressman andre carson of indiana, two muslim members of congress, and congresswoman jan shaan cow ski of illinois. congresswoman, thank you for coming on, and thank you, congressman. >> thank you. >> pleasure. >> i'm going to be really tough here, but if you had had hearings on this 20 or 30 years ago, and you said, i'm a protestant guy and i'm going to hold hearings on the radicalization of american irish and look for who might be supporting noraid, the provisional wing of the i.r.a. and go looking for them and make some assumptions of where to find them and root them out, that would have been seen as a pogram, seems to me. >> no question about it.
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>> and when you start rooting through them, trying to find where the problem is and who the troublemakers are, as a preassumption that they've got them in that group, let's go nail them. your thoughts? >> we've actually done that, during world war ii, when we incarcerated japanese americans. we made an assumption about all the japanese americans. but i have to tell you, chris, not only is it counter our american values, but it's also counterproductive to our national security, because we have a very impressive collaboration with the muslim american community, many who live in my district, and they have actually rooted out and foiled domestic terror flights, 7 out of the last 11 times, 48 times over the last 120. so, you know, this is not making us safer. it's making us less safe. >> let's talk about your district, then i want the other congressman to talk. talk about the hearings you've heard expressed to you by your constituents who are of islamic faith about the holding of hearings about their community and their danger to america. your thoughts. >> well, there's tremendous amount -- >> what do you hear from your
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people? >> there's a tremendous amount of resentment, but also a very hurt feeling. people feel hurt. they feel as if they're loyal americans, they're entrepreneurs, they're professionals, they work for the local governments, they drive cabs. they feel really hurt that they're being singled out, particularly because they do see themselves as loyal americans and are. >> well, that's fact. you know, if you're in my business, congressman, you meet a lot of guys driving limousi s limousines. if you're lucky, you meet them at hotels, meet them around the country, meet them at church. if they're christian, they're catholic. and a significant number of our friends. they must wonder, how did we get under the beacon of investigation? what did we do? >> it's so unfortunate, chris. the national consortium on the study of terrorism released a report. the report was a compilation of studies done by state police agencies across this great nation. and islamic jihadists ranked number 11, a distant 11, behind the ku klux klan, behind
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neo-nazis, anti-immigration groups and others. islamic terrorism, or at least the label islamic terrorism, is certainly a threat in this country -- >> antiabortion people, too. >> antiabortion, animal rights activists as well. it's certainly a problem. we need to contain the threat, identify the threat and isolate the theft and bring that threat to justice. >> i don't like the idea of going after people and putting a big, hot blanket over people, saying you're the trouble, let's find out which of you are the guilty ones. here's congressman peter king making his effort to defend the hearings that are coming up thursday. let's listen. >> there is no other group in this country, other than al qaeda and islamic terrorists which is recruiting. we've always had neo-nazis, we've always had environmental extremists. what makes this unique and different is this is a homegrown group of people being recruited by an enemy from overseas. >> congressman, it seems to me that one of the things we've been proudest of in our country over its history, in what is american exceptionalism, is the ability to come to this country to become american, 100%. >> absolutely. >> a lot of countries -- you can't go to japan and become
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100% japanese. you look different, you're not going to be japanese. or china. other countries are so monocultural, you can't break in no matter what you do, no matter how many years you've stayed there. we've had issues over the years, but we're working on them. will this work for or against simulation? against it? >> absolutely. america will not win the war against terrorism without the help of muslims. i was a muslim who worked in homeland security -- >> so, you're muslim? >> absolutely. one of two. keith ellison is the first. i helped thwart these efforts. congressman schakowsky was right. i was reminded of a conversation at the constitutional convention. ben franklin was asked definitively, what do we have, a monarchy or a republic? he said a republic, if we can keep it. >> congresswoman, your thoughts. i want you to speak for the feelings of people you represent. i know you have people of islamic faith in your district. you have a very varied district.
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what's this going to do a week from now when they know they've been investigated as a community? >> well, they feel very resentful. i've talked to a number of young people, older people, too, and it's created also fear in the community. are we going to be targeted? what's next? are there infiltrators in our mosques on friday? are my kids safe going to school with their heads covered? so, i think it really has alienated a number of people or made them mistrustful. i mean, these are, again, loyal americans. they want to be part of our society, of our communities, and they feel that they're being excluded and targeted in an unfair way. and of course, that's exactly what's happening. this is unfair toward them. >> we've heard your voices. i hope the country hears them. i hope the muslim community hears them, people don't like these hearings. thank you for coming in. . up next, does president obama need to do more in response to what's happening in libya? we have former united states ambassador to the united nations, a trouble-shooter, bill
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richardson. he's going to be sitting right there in a minute. stay there to hear his thinking about libya. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] unrestrained. unexpected. and unlike any hybrid you have ever known. ♪ introducing the most fuel-efficient luxury car available. ♪ the radically new... 42 mile per gallon ct hybrid from lexus. ♪ welcome to the darker side of green. it certainly will. this could be a win-win. this is going to be a win-win. win-win. you should say win-win... use a hyphen. you know what this is ? a win-win. a home run. ah, that was my next guess. win-win. win-win. drink. man, this trip was great. i mean... i'm just... ah... pumped. mobile. take control of your travel. we're american airlines.
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find our lowest fares guaranteed at who's on and who's not? according to a quinnipiac poll, people feel warmest toward michelle obama. she scored a 60 out of 100. atop of the list, bill clinton. christ christie, top of the republican party. he edged out president obama, who scored a 56.5 on the list. who are voters cool on? pelosi scored just 33%. harry reid, just 35%. palin, 38%. they're all in the 30s and they get all the publicity. ben and his family live on this block.
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we're back. moammar gadhafi appeared and then disappeared from a hotel in libya tonight, but his fortunes were on the offensive earlier today outside the capital tripoli, and there were conflicting reports that somebody approached the opposition there in libya on behalf of gadhafi to negotiate a possible transition of power, though later that story was denied by libyan state tv. nbc's stephanie gosk is in benghazi. stephanie, what's up? is there any talk of a pullout by gadhafi, or is this a fight to the finish? >> reporter: well, there were a lot of mixed messages in the last 24 hours on this issue. and what happened was originally it was reported that a number of people here in the interim government had said that they had been approached by the gadhafi government with an offer, that he would be willing to step down if they would protect his family and his money and assured that they wouldn't go after him for human rights violations.
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they then retracted that, and that came because of public pressure here. people were nervous on the ground that they had all of a sudden decided to negotiate with gadhafi. and in tripoli, gadhafi's officials said uncategorically that that kind of negotiation was never under way. so, you know, you do have on both sides a bit of propaganda going on, but it doesn't seem like negotiations, if they're happening, are going very quickly or very successfully. chris? >> maybe this is too hard a call for a straight reporter, but do both sides think they can win now? >> reporter: yeah, both sides definitely think they can win, and you see gadhafi digging in his heels and you see the rebellion here digging in their heels, although it's worth mentioning that on this side of things in benghazi, with the interim government, there was a lot of very quick success here. the protests happened, they took over this town, this region very, very quickly. they had a lot of momentum. and in the last few days, they've seen that momentum kind of grind to a halt. there have been some brutal battles to the west of here in these oil towns, and we've been
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talking about brega and ras lanuf. the rebels really stuck in the desert there and not being able to move any further west. they want to go all the way to tripoli, and it's clear gadhafi's not going to allow that to happen. and what the officials here are seeing is a government that's not willing to negotiate, not willing to step down, and they don't seem to be going anywhere. it's a kind of stalemate at this point. chris? >> sharp report. thank you very much for the reporting, stephanie gosk in libya. former new mexico governor bill richardson was the united states ambassador to the united nations for many years. governor, thank you. you are very good at dealing with trouble. no, you are. you've been to north korea, all over the country dealing with hostage situations and really bad situations. what is your political sense? you're hearing a lot of people, even john kerry, chairman of foreign relations, and you're hearing from people like john mccain on the republican side -- go in, do a no-fly zone, get involved militarily. should we? >> i believe that the international community should and we should take the lead.
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yes, i think the time has come for a no-fly zone, internationally recognized, perhaps nato-led with our assistance. i think we need to take steps, chris, the united states to airlift humanitarian supplies, possibly some weapons to the rebels. i have said that it makes sense to covertly find ways to help the rebels, give them some ammuniti ammunition, give them some weapons. i think the time has come to step in. i think the president has handled it well. he's calibrating his remarks, he's building international support, diplomatic support, economic support. i wouldn't discount this report about gadhafi going to his opposition and saying let's talk. i think he's feeling the pressure. >> what about something short of that, because the president's holding back on no-fly, what about some kind of embargo against oil exports? just stop them from exporting oil. maybe that would be against our
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economic interests, but it would certainly shut down that government, wouldn't it? >> pretty much, their oil operations have literally ceased. but at the same time, any kind of economic boycott, any kind of economic sanction, any kind of efforts to ensure that the regime and the regime and the leadership doesn't travel, that was always a tactics that we used. >> moyer worry is we've had good reasons to go into other countries before. what happens when we've killed the first person. will we still be the good guys? or the bad guys, the foreigners from the west. >> i remember president clinton said one of the his great
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regrets was in rwanda, not intervening. i think you have to have a threshold. there's huge human rights violations, human carnage. a good young and building diplomatic support, having a carefully constructed recognize the no-fly zone, helping the rebels. >> would you go see gadhafi if the president asked you to? >> you're pretty good about this. they like you. you don't make moral judgments in the way they used to. >> if the president would asked me, i would do it. >> you would be in triply tomorrow morning. >> but i'm not the traditional diplomat. >> look at this guy, you could get along with him. i'm just teasing. it looks like we'll have a stalemate in the midwest with
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heavy latino populations if the republicans are sharp enough to put rubio on the ballot, could they knock out the democrats in the part of the country they need, the southwest? >> the danger is traditionally in presidential races the democrats have gotten 65%. if you put a rubio on on a national basis, you could increase to 35% republicans traditionally get. however, i think president obama is very strong among hispanics right now. so i think we can survive a rubio threat, and it would be a threat. i think that means a lot of outreach. that means progress and
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comprehensive immigration reform, the d.r.e.a.m. act, jobs. there's a perception that latinos only care about civil rights and immigration. they care about jobs. they care about national defense, foreign policy, and i think it's important the democratic party speak to them, not as an ethnic group, but as americans. >> do you think the republican party -- i know you're a democrat -- does the rep party have a great opportunity with the hispanics. they want to have a business, republicans can offer that as pardon of the ideology, the philosophy, right? >> well, they have -- they've made some progress, and they're the only ones that elected on a national basis three latinos, the governor of nevada, governor of new mexico, and rubio in the senate. so hispanics don't have any national elected officials at the sonar/governor level. i was the last one. >> do you -- coming from the
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southwest, representing the people i should say -- do you think people in the southwest who are latin-american, do they look at a cuban-american as a fellow hispanic? >> they do, not the same as hispanic. like any ethnic community, there's some divisions, some rivalries, but i think a cuban-american would be appealing. but i think obama's strength among hispanics is quite strong and can override that. >> you're rough my favorite politics u.n. ambassador, united states member of congress, you've done it on the. but not yet, you're not finished sir. thank you for coming to "hardball." when we return, the republican field, can they beat obama by not talking about -- what's all this religion outs talk? is that what's going on in way? i think it is. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. well, it toured around europe, getting handling and steering lessons on those sporty european roads.
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let me finish with this strange opening of the republican presidential campaign. it seems to the observer like there are two different campaigns afoot. out in iowa last night, a quinn at the time of conservatives rivals over their religious and moral credentials with newt gingrich saying the question should be based on questions of morality. on abortion and marriage, from the mouth of one speaker, the
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skoal, it's a model for who can be the most right wing, the religion-based reasoning, the sharp elbowed positioning to be the most fundamental of the fundamentalists. meanwhile, mitt romney has begun the battle for the eastern conference, those republicans who say this is a fight on economics. the problem for the teams in each of these two conferences, eastern and western is everyone knows the real competitors have yet to take the field. out in the west people like santorum and newt are hoping they never do. how does one of them compare to palin or huckabee. and not that there's anything wrong with it. same with the eastern conference based on up in new england. romney can hum about trying to retread himself and keep trying to get people to forget the old tires he ran on


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